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Introduction - History

WinOrbit is a descendant of Tom Clark's (W3IWI) original program, written in NorthStar BASIC (Orbit magazine, Number 6, March/April 1981, page 6). That article has detailed descriptions of the calculation algorithms, and diagrams showing how the various orbital parameters are defined. This original program did not have the orbital decay parameter. Tom described the addition of the decay rate to me at the Dayton Hamvention in 1982.

My versions of the program have passed through several generations, for TRS-80 model I BASIC, Cromemco CDOS Fortran (Z-80), and eventually to the Intel processor series. At each level, some more convenience features were added. The current version was written for Microsoft Windows 3.1 using Microsoft Visual Basic 3.0, and runs very well on a 486DX33 system. The first public version (WinOrbit 2.0) was released in December 1994.

For recent history and up-to-date information, see the Old Features and New Features sections. For information on contributed ideas, see Acknowledgements

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